“Stick and stones may break my bones but words would never harm me.”
Remember that nursery rhyme? I said it often in middle school when taunted however I have a confession, words do hurt and hurt deeply. In fact, degrading words leave scars. More often than not I’d prefer a punch to the face than being mocked by peers in front of friends. Besides, I look cool with a black eye.
A bruise will eventually heal however, being the punchline of a joke usually takes years to stop hurting. Till this day my self-confidence is haunted by the name calling in sixth grade. My initial reaction, physical retaliation. I wanted to defend my dignity. I wanted those taunting me to feel the humiliation I felt.
This dude once said something pretty profound about retaliation. He said something like, turn the other cheek. Actually it went more like this:
“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. (Matt. 5:38-42 MSG)
While retaliating would feel good momentarily, Jesus (yep, that’s the dude), suggested we love our enemies instead. He encourages us to return good for evil. Moreover, Jesus tells us to pray for those who persecute us (Matt. 5:44).
Sure, but if I can’t retaliate, if I can’t protect myself, who will? Do I hire a bodyguard? Ha, it doesn’t matter cause I can’t afford one.
Actually, God promises to be our refuge, our fortress. The Psalmist writes, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalms 91). God is promising His protection, He’s our shelter, our bodyguard.
I like the way Christian Hip-Hop artist Brinson puts it in his song Bodygaurd, “slanging cold words, no problem, you cant stop me, i’m on my job, stone thrown, no scars, Jesus is my bodyguard.”
The song is pretty dope, listen for yourself here: [soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/91999470″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&player_type=tiny” width=”140″ height=”18″ iframe=”false” /]
Before Jesus can be your bodyguard you must trust Him, trust Him with your life-all of it. To trust Him enough not to retaliate, enough to call Him your refuge, your fortress, your God. Only then can we love those who hurt us. Only then can we truly find shelter in the Most High and rest in the shadows of the Almighty.
Sticks and stones may break my bones…but Jesus is my bodyguard!
Devotional inspired by Brinson’s song “Bodyguard.” Buy the song on itunes. For additional info on Brinson visit GodChaserz.com. Follow him on twitter (@Brinson_OMG).